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Sternly the wizard prophet eyed
The dreary lists with slaughter dyed,
And sternly raised his hand:— « Madiuen,* he s,iid, « your strife forbear! And thou, fair cause of mischief, hear
The doom thy fates demand! Long shall close in-stony sleep Eyes for ruth that -would not weep; Iron lethargy shall seal Heart lhat pity scorn'd to feel. Yet. because thy mother's art Warp'd thine unsuspicious heart, And for love of Arthur's race, Punishment is blent with grace, Thou shall bear thy penance lone, In the Valley of St Jehu, And this weird' shall overtake thee;— Sleep, until a knight shall wake thee, For feats of arras as far renowu'd As warrior of the Table Hound. Long endurance of thy slumber Well may leach the world to number All their woes from Gyucth's pride, ^hen the Bed Cross champions dicd.»—
As Merlin speaks, on Cyneth's eye
Slumber's load begins to lie;
Fear and anger vainly strive
Still 10 keep its light alive.
Twice, with effort and with pause,
O'er her brow her hand she draws;
Twice her strength in vain she tries,
From the fatal chair to rise;
Merlin's magic doom is sp'oken,
Vanoc's death must now he wroken.
Slow the dork-frioged eye-lids fall,
Curtaining each azure ball.
Slowly as on summer eves
Violets fokl their dusky leaves.
The weighty baton of command
Sow bears down her sinking hand,
On her shoulder droops her head;
Net of pear! and golden thread,
Bursiing, gave her locks to flow
Oer her arm and breast of snow.
And so lovely seem'd she there,
Spell-hound in her ivory chair,
That her angry sire, repenting.
Craved stern Merlin for relenting,
And the champions, for her sake,
Would again the contest wake;
Till, in necromantic night,
Gyneth vanish d from their sight-
Still she bears her weird alone,
In the Valley of Saint John;
And her semblance oft will seem
Mingling in a champion's dream.
Of her weary lot to plain,
And crave his aid to burst her chain.
While her wondrous tale was new,
Warriors to her rescue drew,
East and west, and south and north,
From the Liffy, Thames, and Forth.
Most have sought in vaiu the glen,
Tower nor castle could they ken;
Not at every lime or tide.
Nor by every eye, descried.
Fast and vigil must be'borne,
Many a night in watching worn,
Ere an eye of mortal powers
Can discern those magic towers.
Of the persevering few,
Some from hopeless task withdrew,
When they read the dismal threat
Craved upon the gloomy gate.
Few have braved the yawning door,
And those few return'd no more.
In the lapse of time forgot,
Well nigh lost is Cyneth's lot;
Sound her sleep as in the tomb.
Till waken'd by the trump of doom.
ISD OF LTULPB's TALE.
Here pause, my tale; for all too soon,
My Lucy, comes the hour of noon.
Already from thy lofty dome
Its courtly inmates 'gin to roam.
And, each, to kill the goodly day
That Cod has granted them, his way
Of lazy sauntering has sought;
Lord lings and witlings not a few,
Incapable of doing aught,
Vet ill at ease with nought to do. Here is no longer place for me; For, Lucy, thou wouldst blush to sec Some phantom, fashionably thin, With limb of lath and kerchief d chin, And lounging gape, or sneering grin, Steal sudden on our privacy. And how should I, so humbly born. Endure the graceful spectre's scorn! Faith! ill I fear, while conjuring wand Of English oak is hard at hand.
Or grant the hour be all too soon
For Ue&sian boot and pantaloon,
And graut the lounger seldom strays
Beyond the smooth and gravel I'd maze,
Laud we the gods, that Fashion's train
Holds hearts of more adventurous strain.
Artists are hers, who scorn to trace
Their rules from Nature's boundless grace,
But their right paramount assert
To limit her by pedant art,
Damning whate'er of vast and fair
Exceeds a canvas three feet square.
This thicket, for their gumption fit,
May furnish such a hippy Int.
Rards, too, are hers, wont to recite
Their owu sweet lays by waxen light,
Half in the salver's tinkle drown'd,
While the chasse-caM glides around!
And such may liilher secret stray,
To labour an extempore:
Our sportsman, with his boisterous hollo.
May here his wiser spaniel follow.
Or stage-struck Julie(,may presume
To chusc this bower for tiring-room;
And we alike must shun regard,
From painter, player, sportsman, bard.
Insects that skim in Fashion's sky,
Wasp, blue-botlle, or butterfly,
Lucy, have all alarms for us,
For all can hum and all can buzE
III. Ilot oh, my Lucy, say how long We still must dread this trilling throng, And sloop lo hide, with coward art, The genuine feelings of the heart! No parents thine, whose just command Should rule their child's obedient hand; Thy guardians, with contending voice, Press each his individual choice. And which is Lucy's !—Cau it be That.puny fop, trimin'd enp-a-pie. Who loves in the saloon to show The arms that never knew a foe; Whose sabre trails along the ground, Whose leg* in shapeless boots arc drown'd; A new Achilles, sure,—the steel Fled from his breast to fence his heVl; One, for the simple manly grace That wont lo deck our martial race, Who comes in foreign trashcry
Of tinkling chain and spur,
A walking haberdashery,
Of feathers, lace, and fur:
In Rowley's antiquated phrase
Horse-milliner1 of modern days.
Or is it he, the wordy youth,
So early train'd for statesman's part.
Who talks of honour, faith and truth,
As themes that he has got by heart; Whose ethics Chesterfield can leach. Whose logic is from Single-speech; Who scorns the meanest thought to vent, Save in the phrase of Parliament; Who, in a talc of cat and mouse, Calls uorder," and « divides the house," Who« craves permission to reply," Whose « noble friend is in his eye ;» Whose loving lender some have reckon'd A motion, you should gladly second!
Forgive me, love, I cannot bear
That alter'd and resentful air.
Were all the wealth of Russell mioe,
And all the rank of Howard's line,
All would I give for leave to dry
That dew-drop trembling in lliiue eye.
Think not I fear such fops can wile
From Lucy more than careless smile;
Rut yet if wealth and high, degree
Give gilded counters currency.
Must I not fear, when rank aud birth
Sump the pure ore of genuine worth!
Nobles (here arc, whose martial fires
Rival the fame that raised their sires,
And patriots, skill d through storms of fate
To guide and guard the rceliug state.
Such, such there arc-if such should come,
Arlhur must tremble and be dumb,
Self-exiled seek some di«laul shore,
And mourn till life and grief are o'er.
What sight, what signal of alarm.
That Lucy clings to Arthur's arm!
Or is il, that the rugged way
Makes Beauty lean on lover's slay!
Oh, no! for on the vale and brake
Nor sight nor sounds of danger wake.
And this trim sward of velvet green
Were carpet for the fairy queen.
That pressure slight was but lo tell
That Lucy loves her Arlhur wrll,
And fain would banish from his mind
Suspicious fear and doubt unkind.
But wouldst thou hid the demons fly
Like mist before ihe dawning sky,
There is but one resistless spell-
Say, wilt thou guess, or must I tell!
'T were hard to name in minstrel phrase.
A landaulet and four blood-bays,
But bards agree this wiiard band
Can but be bound in Northern Land.
T is Ihere— nay, draw not back Ihy hand!-
T is there this slender finger round
Must golden amulet be hound.
Which, bless'd with many a holy prayer,
Can change lo rapture lovers care.
And doubt and jealousy shall die,
And fears give place to ccslacy.
Now, trust me, Lucy, all too long
Has been thy lover's tale and song.
0 why so silent, love, I pray!
Have I not spnkc the livelong day!
And will not Lucy deign to say
One word her friend lo bless!
1 ask but one—a simple sound, Within three little Idlers bound,
O let llu> word be YES!
INTRODUCTION TO CANTO III.
Use loved, long woo'd, and lately won.
My life's best hope, and now mine own!
Doth not this rude and Alpine glen
Recalour favourite haunts agen?
A wild resemblance we can trace,
Though reft of every softer grace.
As the rough warrior's brow may hear
A likeness to a sister fair.
Full well advised our Highland host,
Tim this wild pass on foot be cross'd,
While round Beo-Cruach's mighty base
Wheel the slow steeds and lingering chaise.
The keen old carle, with Scottish pride,
He praised his glen aud mountaius wide;
An eye lie bears for nature's (ace,
Ay, and for woman's lovely grace.
Ereo in such mean degree we find
The subtle Scot's observing mind;
For, not the chariot nor the train
Could gape of vulvar wonder gain,
But when old Allan would expound
Of Beal-na-]';)-.'; ■ the Celtic sound,
HU bonnet doffd, and bow, applied
HU legend to my bonny bride;
While Lucy hlnsh'd beneath his eye,
Courteous and cautious, shrewd and sly.
Enough of him.—Now, ere we lose,
Plunged in the vale, the distant views,
Turn thee, my love! look back once more
To the blue hike's retiring shore.
On its smooth breast the shadows seem
Like objects in a morning dream,
What time the slumbercr is aware
He sleeps, and all the vision 's air:
Even so, on yonder liquid lawn,
In hues of bright reflection drawn,
Distinct the shaggy mountains lie,
Distinct the rocks, distinct the sky;
The summer clouds so plain we note,
That ve might count each dappled spot:
W'e gaze and we admire, vet know
The scene is all delusive show.
Such dreams of bliss would Arthur draw,
When first his Lucy's form he saw;
Yet sigh'd and sicken'd as he drew,
Despairing they could e'er prove true!
Bat, Lucy, turn thee now, to view
L'p the fair glen our destined way! The fairy path that we pursue, Dutinguish'd but by greener hue,
Winds round the purple brae, While Alpine flowers of varied dye For carpet serve or tapestry.
1 BMl-na-paUb, Oh vaWofthe Bridal.
Sec how the little runnels leap,
Iu threads of silver, down the steep,
To swell the brooklet's moan! Seems that the Highland Naiad grieves. Fantastic while her crown she weaves. Of rowan, birch, and aider-leaves,
So lovely, and so lone. There's no illusion there, these flowers, That wailing brook, these lovely bowers,
Are, Lucy, all our own; And, since thine Arthur call'd thee wife, Such seems the prospect of his life, A lovely path, on-winding still, By gurgling brook and sloping hill. T is true that mortals cannot tell What waits them in the distant dell; But be it hap, or be it harm, We tread the path-way arm in arm.
And now, my Lucy, wot'st thou why
I could thy bidding twice deny,
When twice you pray'd I would again
Resume the legendary strain
Of the bold Knight of Triermain T
At length yon peevish vow you swore,
That you would sue to mc no more,
Until the minstrel fit drew near,
And made me prize a listening ear.
But, loveliest, wjjen thou first didst pray
Continuance of the knightly lay,
Was it not on the happy day
* That made thy hand mine own? .
When, dizzied with mine ecstasy,
.Nought past, or present, or to be,
Could I or think on, hear, or see,
Save, Lucy, thee alone!
A giddy draught my rapture was,
As ever chemist's magic gas.
Again the summons I denied
In yon fair capital of Clyde;
My harp—or let me rather chuse
The good old classic form—my Muse
(For harp 's an over-scutched phrase,
Worn out by bards of modern days).
My Muse, then—seldom will she wake
Save by dim wood and sileut lake.
She is the wild and rustic maid,
Whose foot unsandall'd loves to tread
Where the soft green-sward is inlaid
With varied moss and thyme;
And, lest the simple lily-braid.
That coronets her temples, fade.
She hides her still in green-wood shade,
To meditate her rhyme.
And now she comes! The murmur dear
Of the wild brook hath caught her ear,
The glade hath won her eye;
She 1ouj;s to join with each blithe rill
That dances down the Highland hill.
Her blither melody.
And now, my Lucy's way to cheer,
She bids Ben-Cniach's echoes heir
How closed (lie talc, my love whilere
Loved for its chivalry. List how she tells, in notes of flame, .1 Child noland to the dark lower came!»
Newcastle now must keep the hold,
Spcir-Adam's steeds must hide in stall, Of Hartley-burn the bowmen bold
Must only shoot from battled wall; And Liddesdalc may buckle spur,
And Teviot now may belt the brand, Tarras and Ewes keep nightly stir,
And Eskdale foray Cumberland. Of wasted field and plunder'd flocks
The Borderers bootless may complain; They lack the sword of brave De Vaux,
There comes no aid from Tricrmain.
That lord, on high adventure bound,
Hath wanderd forth alone,
And day and night keeps watchful round
In the valley of Saint John.
When first began his vigil hold,
The moon twelve summer nights was old,
And shone both fair and full;
High in the vault of cloudless blue,
O'er streamlet, dale, and rock, she threw
Her light composed and cool.
Sfrrtch'd on the brown hill's heathy breast,
Sir Roland eyed the vale;
Chief, where, distinguish'*! from the rest,
Those clustering rocks uprcar'd their crest,
The dwelling of the fair distress'd,
As told gray Lyulph's tale.
Thus as he lay, the lamp of night
Was quivering on his armour bright,
In beams (bat rose and fell,
And danced upon his buckler's boss,
That lay beside him on the moss,
As on a crystal well.
Ever he wateb'd, and oft he deem'd,
While on the mound the moon-light stream'd,
It altcr'd to his eyes;
Fain would he hope the rocks "pan change
To bultrcss'd walls their shapeless range,
Fain think, by transmutation strange,
He saw gray turrets rise.
But scarce his heart with hope tbrobb'd high,
Before the wild illusions fly.
Which fancy had conceived, A belled by an anxious eye
That long d to be deceived. It was a fond deception all, Sucli as, in solitary hall,
Hcguiles the musing eye,
When, gazing on the sinking fire.
Bulwark and battlement and spire
In the red gulf we spy.
For seen, by moon of middle night,
Or by the blaze of noontide bright,
Or by the dawn of morning light,
Or evening's western flame,
In every tide, at every hour,
In mist, in sunshine, and in shower,
The rocks remain'd the same.
Oft has he traced the charmed mound, ■
Oft climb'd its crest, or paced it round,
Yet nothing might explore,
Save that the crags so rudely piled.
At distance seen, resemblance wild
To a rough fortress bore.
Yet still his watch the warrior keeps,
Feeds hard and spare, and seldom sleeps.
And drinks but of the well;
Ever by day be -walks the hill.
And when the evening gale is chill.
He seeks a rocky cell,
Like hermit poor to bid his bead,
And tell his ave and his creed,
Invoking every saint at need,
For aid to burst the spell.
And now the moon her orb has hid,
And dwindled to a silver thread,
Dim seen in middle heaven,
While o'er its curve careering fast,
Before the fury of the blast,
The midnight clouds arc driven. The brooklet raved, for on the hills The upland showers had swoll'n the rilK
Aud down the torrents came;
Mutter'd the distant thunder dread,
And frequent o'er the vale was spread
A sheet of lightning llame.
Dc Vaux, within his mountain rate
(No human step the storm durst brau).
To mocdy meditation gave
Each faculty of soul,
Till, lull'd by distant torrent-sound.
And the sad wind that whittled round.
Upon bis thoughts, in musing drownd,
A broken slumber stole.
T was then was heard a heavy sound,
(Sound strange aud fearful there to heif, 'Mougst desert lulls, where, leigucs around.
Dwelt but the gor-cock and the deer:) As starting from his couch of frro, Again he beard, ia clangour steru.
That deep and solemn .swell; Twelve limes, in measured tone, it <poke Like some proud minsters pealing clock.
Or city's larum-beJl. What thought was Roland s first when fell. In that deep wilderness, the knell
Upon his startled car!
To slander warrior vcre I loth,
Tel must I hold my minstrel troth,—
It was a thought of fear.
fiat lively was the mingled thrill That chased that momentary chill;
For love's keen wish was there,
And eager hope, and valour high,
And the proud glow of chivalry,
That burn'd to do and dare.
Forth from the cave the warrior rush'd,
Loog ere the mountain-voice was hush'd,
That answer'd to the knell;
For loog and far the unwonted sound,
Eddying in echoes round and round,
Wastoss'd from fell to fell;
And Glaramara answer Hung,
And Grisdale-pikc responsive rung,
And Legbert heights their echoes swung,
As far as Derwent's dell.
Forth upon trackless darkness gazed
The knight, bedcafen'd and amazed,
Till all was hush'd and still,
Save the swoll'n torrent's sullen roar,
And the night-blast that wildly bore
Its course along the hill.
Then on the northern sky there came
A light, as of reflected flame,
And over Legbert-head,
As if by magic art controll'd,
A mighty meteor slowly roll'd
Its orb of fiery red;
Thou wouldst have thought some demon dire
Came mounted on that car of fire,
To do his errand dread.
Far on the sloping valley's course,
On thicket, rock, and torrent hoarse,
Shingle and scrae,< and fell and force,3
A dusky light arose:
Display'd, yet alter'd was the scene;
hark rock, and brook of silver sheen,
tea the gay thicket's summer green,
In bloody tincture glows.
D> Vaux had mark'd the son-beams set,
Aleve, upon the coronet
Of that enchanted mound,
And seen but crags at random flung,
That, o'er the brawling torrent hung,
In desolation frown'd.
What sees he by that meteor's lour?—
A banner d castle, keep, and tower,
Return the lurid gleam,
With battled walls and buttress fast,
And barbican 3 and ballium 4 vast.
And airy flanking towers, that cast
Their shadows on the stream.
T is not deceit; distinctly clear
Crencll ■ and parapet appear,
Wihic o'er the pile that meteor drear
Makes momentary pause; Then forth its solemn path it drew, And fainter yet apd fainter grew Those gloomy towers upon the view,
As its wild light withdraws.
Forth from the cave did Roland rush,
O'er crng and stream, through briar aud bush
Yet far he had not sped,
Ere sunk was that portentous light
Behind the hills, and utter night
Was on the valley spread.
He paused perforce,—and blew his horn;
And on the mountain-echoes borne
Was heard an answering sound,
A wild and lonely trumpet-note,—
In middle air it seem'd to float
High o'er the battled mound;
And sounds were heard, as when a guard
Of some proud castle holding ward,
Pace forth their nightly round.
The valiant Knight of Trierraain
Rung forth his challenge-blast again,
But answer came there none;
And 'mid the mingled wind and rain.
Darkling lie sought the vale in vain,
Until the dawning shone;
And when it dawn'd, that wondrous sight,
Distinctly seen by meteor-light.
It all had pass'd away!
And that enchanted mound once more
A pile of granite fragments bore,
As at the close of day.
Steel'd for the deed, De Vaux's heart
Scorn'd from his venturous quest to part,
He walks the vale once more;
But only sees, by night or day.
That shatter'd pile of rocks so gray,
Hears but the torrent's roar.
Till when, through hills of azure borne,
The moon rcnew'd her silver horu,
Just at the time her waning ray
Had faded in the dawning day,
A summer mist arose;
Adown the vale the vapours float,
And cloudy undulations moat
That tufted mouud of mystic nolo,
As round its base they close.
And higher now the fleecy tide
Ascends its stern and shaggy side,
Until the airy billows hide
The rock's majestic Isle;
It seem'd a veil of filmy lawn.
By some fantastic fairy drawn
Around enchanted pile.
The breeze came softly down the brook,
And, sighing as it blew,
1 Aperture* for tbooiing arrow*.